SOUTH HEIDELBERG TWP., Pa. - People in South Heidelberg Township are starting a grassroots effort to try to block a natural gas plant from coming to the area.
A 63-acre plot of land could be the home of a natural gas processing plant.
Last week, South Heidelberg Township supervisors gave preliminary approval to EmberClear Corporation to build a plant that would convert natural gas to gasoline.
But people who live across the street from the property have concerns that it will not be safe and could decrease their property value.
"They can stop the preliminary plans based upon the fact that it does not take the well being of the residents. They do not know all the environmental issues it is going to have. There is not one plant like this that is anywhere in this country," said Brian Cutts, of South Heidelberg Township.
Township supervisors, however, said the plot of land has been zoned industrial for the past 30 years. and safety concerns with natural gas already exist.
"How much is too much? All the homes of the people that are objecting currently are heated by natural gas, they have natural gas cooking facilities, dryers, water heaters. There are four pipelines running through the middle of that development now," said Ronald Seaman, the township's manager.
Although the township board of supervisors gave approval to this project last week, the township manager said in no way is this a done deal.
"I would love to be able to work in harmony with all these people and whatever happens happens. If it cannot be stopped legally, then let us make it the best plant it can possibly be," said Seaman.
People in the county, however, are hoping that, through forming a non-profit organization and seeking legal council, they can put a stop to the project.
A citizens meeting on the issue will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Spring Rose Child Care Center in South Heidelberg Township.
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